Serena Williams Enters Family Circle Cup

February 22, 2012

Former World No. 1 and Cup Champion Returns to Charleston

CHARLESTON, SC – February 22, 2012 – Serena Williams, former World No. 1 and 2008 Family Circle CupChampion, has committed to the 2012 Charleston event.  Williams,currently standing at World No. 11 in the WTA rankings, joins 2010 Cupchampion Samantha Stosur, 2004 Cup Champion Venus Williams, and VeraZvonareva in a world class player field assembling on Daniel Island.  Marking the tournament’s 40th year, the FamilyCircle Cup will be held March 31 – April 8, 2012 at the Family CircleTennis Center in the Best Tennis Town in America, Charleston, S.C.

“Serena is one ofthe most popular and recognizable athletes in the world, as well as anoverwhelming fan-favorite at this event,”said Eleanor Adams, Family Circle Cup Tournament Manager.  “We couldn’t be happier to welcome another former champion to our player field as we prepare to celebrate our 40th year in women’s professional tennis.”

Throughout herillustrious 17-year career, Williams has made an indelible mark on thesport of tennis.  With 39 singles titles, including thirteen majors -the most among active players, this 30-year-old superstarhas notched 501 singles victories.  She leads the WTA with over $34.8million in career earnings, the most of any female tennis player inhistory, and more than any other female athlete in any sport.  Williamshas also won Olympic gold for the USA in doubles(w/ Venus Williams) at the 2000 and 2008 games. 

In 2012, Williamsreached the quarterfinals at Brisbane and the fourth round at theAustralian Open.  Her 2011 season was highlighted by singles titles atStanford and Toronto, a fourth round result at Wimbledon,and a finals appearance at the US Open.  She also captured the US OpenSeries Championship with an 18-2 US Open Series record.

“The Family Circle Cup’s 40th year celebration is an important milestone in women’s tennis,”said Serena Williams.  “This tournament has a key place in history, so I’m always happy to compete in Charleston.”

Williams has madefive previous appearances in Charleston where she accumulated $336,540in prize money, boasts a 12-4 record, and returns to this event with anactive five-match win streak in progress, stemmingfrom her 2008 Cup championship.  Her Charleston earnings rank her atNo. 7 among all-time Family Circle Cup money leaders.

“I’ve always lovedCharleston.  The fans are very knowledgeable, and the intimateatmosphere makes this tournament one of my favorites,”added Williams.

Cultivating herphilanthropic influence, Williams opened a much-needed secondary schoolin Kenya in 2008.  Her efforts to bring education to as many children aspossible remains an ongoing initiative throughthe Serena Williams Foundation, which provides collegiate andentrepreneurial grants to high school students entering college andtrade schools, as well as aspiring business owners.  She has also becomea co-founder of MISSION Skincare™ (,the first line of products designed by elite athletes designed to meetthe demands that athletes face during training and competition.  MISSIONSkincare™ product sales support the Serena Williams Foundation. 

On September 20,2011, Williams was appointed as UNICEF’s newest international GoodwillAmbassador, where she will use her popularity and personal interest inchildren’s issues to support UNICEF’s missionto provide a quality education for the most vulnerable children throughthe Schools for Africa program and the upcoming Schools for Asiainitiatives.   More information is available on her official web site at

For information onTicket Packages, Individual Session Tickets, Travel Packages, TeamGetaways, visit

Family CircleTennis Center
The Family CircleTennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup and World TeamTennis FinalsWeekend, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston andoperated by Meredith Corporation that also hostsa variety of additional events including concerts, festivals, tennistournaments and other activities throughout the year.  The Tennis Centerfeatures a 10,200 seat stadium, Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lightedfor night play, Pro Shop, and a full serviceevent management staff capable of handling all aspects of an eventincluding ticketing, operations, sales, marketing, public relations, andfood & beverage.  Charleston, South Carolina was named was namedthe “No. 1 tourist destination in America” in the 2011Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, and Charleston was alsovoted the “Best Tennis Town in America” in a 2010 USTA contest.

Family Circle isthe longest running title sponsor of a sporting event in the UnitedStates, as well as in all of professional tennis, world-wide.  With over21million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely readmonthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscriptionmagazines owned by Meredith Corporation.   The Family Circle Cupreceives four days of live broadcast domestically on ESPN2,and is viewed internationally in over 25 countries, featuring over 200hours of live and delayed global broadcast time, reaching 8.54 millionviewers worldwide.